VA Medical Center undergoing inspector general audit

Inspector General auditing 151 VA hospitals across country

VA Medical Center undergoing inspector general audit

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Veteran Affairs Medical Center is being audited by the VA Inspector General's office in the wake of accusations leveled against the VA hospital in Phoenix of a secret waiting list and delayed response times.

151 VA hospitals are being audited across the country in the wake of the allegations made in Phoenix.

Auditors are specifically looking at patient scheduling practices and the result of those audits being conducted in Spokane and across the country would be released for several weeks.

This audit comes on the heels of revelations that the Phoenix VA hospital had a secret list for veterans waiting for health care. A list of around 1,600 names was designed to disguise how long veterans were actually waiting to be treated.

Reports say 40 veterans died while waiting on that secret list in Phoenix.

The director of the VA hospital in Phoenix, Sharon Helman has been placed on administrative leave.

Helman previously was the director of the Spokane VA Medical Center in 2007 and 2008 and was later transferred to a VA hospital in the Chicago area.

Officials at the VAMC declined to be interviewed for this story however, when asked if patients were being taken off waiting lists for care here in Spokane, VA officials reported with a simple "No."

The union at the VAMC is calling for new leadership that can be held accountable, and have pointed to issues with the medical center's chief of staff and the chief of surgery.